Mumbai For Kids: What The Fun, Ghatkopar
The places you stumble upon serendipitously are usually more rewarding - partly because you don't have any expectations
What the Fun (Indoors), Ghatkopar
The places you stumble upon serendipitously are usually more rewarding - partly because you don't have any expectations. Recently, while strolling around R City Mall, Ghatkopar, we come across What the Fun, and step in for a better idea.
It is a Laser Tag zone, and as luck would have it, nobody seems to have booked it at that moment. I step in with my kids, my 10-year-old son who claims to love being part of combative games, and my 12-year-old daughter. It is dark and there are large drums, piled up tyres, columns, and fake cobwebs, neon skeletons and zombies. The door will be shut if we book the place and the threat of added darkness with these creatures promptly spooks my son. But my 12-year-old seems delighted. So, promising to play with them, I book the playzone for our own game.
Laser tag is a tag game played with guns that fire infrared beams. Infrared-sensitive targets are commonly worn by each player and are sometimes integrated within the arena in which the game is played. A quick scan on the web tells me that Laser Tag is nearly 40 years old and started with the release of the Star Trek Electronic Phasers. There are both indoor and outdoor styles of playzones. Compared to paintball (which we have not tried yet, precisely for this reason), it is painless.
We are fitted with jackets that are heavy due to the tracking devices on them. Each jacket is also connected with a laser gun. You can play in teams and the number of times you shoot your opponent is automatically marked on the scoreboard in the control room outside. We walk in, the doors are shut and by the time my eyes adjust to the dark, I've already been shot by both my kids and my device, disabled. Gah!
And that's how we play in this multi-level 1,200 sq ft zone. Hiding behind pillars or doors, moving across rooms and running up the elevated area and shooting down whomever you can, being the hunter or the hunted. Hearts pound, shots pings and frustration mounts as devices are disabled, or when you are shot in the back. Where you shoot your opponent is how you score points and shooting in the back scores you the least. It is no surprise when we get out, that I have scored the least and my son has scored the highest, especially by shooting others in the back! In minutes, I'm dripping with perspiration, eyes wild and laughter bubbling. Never thought I would have so much fun with two kids and a handful of zombies.
Where: T-25-26, third floor, opposite Kidzania, Ghatkopar West.
Best for: Girls and boys from seven years and above. A minimum of three to four kids makes the game more fun.
How to reach: We took a cab but the quickest way to reach will be to board a train to Ghatkopar and hail an auto to the mall, which is well-known.
Timings: 11 am to 9.30 pm (Monday to Friday), 11 am to 10 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Budget: '330 per head, per game
Food: The mall has many options for places to eat
Water: No water available
Rest Room facilities: Yes
Where else to go: Plenty of entertainment options within the mall
Parent Poll: Ideal for large groups of kids; perfect for a birthday venue
Kids' Poll: Can we book it for another session?
What's Good: Intense fun that makes use of mental and physical energy
What's Not So Good: Entry to the space should be shut when a game is in progress
Safety tip: It is a safe place. However, if there are young kids in the space, it would be ideal for parents to accompany them